The battle of Mahabharata was over. Bhishma lay on a bed of arrows, piercing through his body. He was waiting; waiting for Uttarayana. Blessed as he was, by his father, with the power of deciding the time when his soul would be separated from his body, Bhishma Pitamah had chosen Uttarayana as ‘the moment’, for liberating his self from the gross body. Lord Krishna himself visited him every day along with pandavas and many sages and ascetics. Discussions used to be held on serious matters. Often Yudhishther would raise questions and Bhishma Pitamah would answer. The visitors were greatly benefited by Bhishma Pitamah’s discourse on all issues under the sun from worldly topics like Political situation, economy etc. to spiritual matters like Yoga, devotion, Vedanta etc.
On one such morning, all these seekers were surprised as they went to the Pitamah. They saw tears in the eyes of the Pitamah. Tears in the eyes of the most learned Pitamah! Tears in the eyes of one who has elevated himself above all joys and sorrows that too at a time when he is in the process of leaving the physical form merging into his true self all feelings, all perceptions, all senses.
Unable to comprehend the mystery, Yudhishther turned to Lord Krishna. “What is the matter Lord? Why tears in the eyes of one so sagacious?”
“Better ask Pitamah himself”, the Lord smiled.
“Physical plight stirs me not.” said the Pitamah in a solemn voice, “ But I find myself helpless in comprehending the mysteries of the inconceivable game of creation woven by the great creator, the Lord.”
“How ironical it is to to find mountains of adversities befall even at a place where the Dharamputra ( name by which Yudhishther was popularly known- literally meaning son of piety) is the king, mighty Bhima his younger brother; where erudite Arjuna, possessor of the divine Bow-Gandiv, the soul-mate of none other than the Lord Krishna; above all where Lord Krishna himself pervades with affection. What a perplexing game!”
Yudhishther valued truth and earnestness more than his life. Far from causing discomfort to others, he would always be eager to mitigate the sorrows of others even at the cost of his own joys. With mighty Bhima and Arjuna- the Lord personified,- on his side, he could have easily defeated any foe, but he chose to endure the rigours of living in forests, rather than using muscle power to regain his lost kingdom. Despite the company and guidance of Lord Krishna, his life proceeded through the valleys of adversity.
What else but Maya- to realise the ultimate bliss, one must go through the furnace of hardship. To relish the fragrance of Nandanvana, one has to tread a path full of thorns. To imbibe Amrit, the ego must be dissolved by drinking the poison of halahal.
Though every being is a the blissful fragment of the divine being, the God, yet without purifying the Tan, mann, pran- body, mind and the prana- in the fire of ascetic penance, it may not be possible to reveal and realise the inherent bliss. This is the way of the divine. Those who think of realizing bliss the easy way, following the comfort oriented vagaries of the mind, are only befooling themselves.
Due to the greater presence of gross element, the animals perceive both joys and sorrows with a much lesser intensity than the human beings. Similarly, in the less intelligent human beings also, the intensity of perception of joys and sorrows is relatively lower.
It is the people with active, thoughtful minds, who confront greater hardships and struggle. This spurs the development of their consciousness. The saga of Pandavas can be a great source of inspiration for sincere Sadhakas. Those sadhakas, who aim at name –fame and comfort, are bound to go astray from the path of truth.
However, those who aim for nothing less than the Parmanand(the eternal bliss), will have to be ever ready to tread the path of penance and renunciation, to live a pious life. No piety is greater than being a satyvrati-the seeker of nothing but the ultimate truth. The realisation of parmanand is possible only in the inner-self sanctified by ascetic renunciation driven by the sincere yearning for the ultimate truth.
Realisation is not for him who fears the adversity, for the mind of such a one will not be able to cope-up with the abundance of the joy, the exuberance, the ecstasy, the bliss that parmanand signifies. Difficult it is to move towards parmanand, for one who cannot renounce. The will of one who cannot undergo penance, will always be bereft of strength. Such a one will keep wandering aimlessly on the inner path.
A sadhaak who is not a Satyavrati (seeker of the ultimate truth), is just befooling himself in the name of sadhaan, for his goal is not the ultimate-God.